Braves quotes after Wednesday’s win over Cardinals

**FREDI GONZALEZ

On Freeman’s return

“He swung the bat just like before all the eye issues. That’s nice to see and just right on time because today was an offensive day. I thought the whole series was weird – balls going through the infield, up the middle and we got out in front, then came back and tied it, kept battling, they came back. we put a big number there in the bottom of the eighth inning to give us a cushion. It was a shame we couldn’t get Huddy a win, but I like the way the guys battled and really looked like the offensive team that we were the first month and a half, or almost two months of the season.”

On Hudson’s start

“He had the sinker going, and some of the groundballs – I think Holliday hit I don’t know how many up the middle in this series, just not hit very hard. And Molina was hot as a pistol and he kept coming up. We won a series after losing eight in a row, and now we’ve got a day off tomorrow, get on a plane, try to keep winning series to get back on top of our division.”

On getting some bloops to fall for hits

“That evens out. I thought offensively we did a lot of good things executing. That bunt there going first to third. Constanza reading the ball in the dirt. All that little stuff. Getting in a rundown at third and able to get Bourny back in scoring position. I’m pleased with the offensive part of it. it’s a little different lineup when McCann’s in there and Danny and Freeman. Now we’ve got to get the other end of our game going.”

On shot in the arm from Constanza

“He brings energy. And to use a Stan Van Gundy or an NBA term we had the hands team out there. he made a hell of a play to start the game up against the wall there.

**FREDDIE FREEMAN

On playing in the new glasses, you like it?

“I do. It took a little getting used to, but I was able to get used to it pretty quick today so it worked out.”

Surprised you were able to hit a homer in your first pro at-bat wearing glasses?

“I was surprised by how I hadn’t played in a few days and was able to have a swing like that. I wasn’t really worried about the glasses; I knew they worked well. I did a lot of work before the game just to make sure I was able to stay through the ball and go to left-center. I was happy with the results.”

The glasses will be a permanent fixture for you now in games?

“Yeah, I don’t see me going back to contacts because my eyes, I still can’t put contacts in there so there’s no reason to go back to square 1 with that and have my eyes burning and all that stuff.”

Feel good in the field, too?

“Everything was fine. The only thing I’m going to have to worry about is, like, a day game, a sun ball, just have to figure out what I’m going to do there.”

No prescription sunglasses like these?

“Not yet.”

On winning two after the eight-game skid

“We went through a stretch. Everybody is going to go through a stretch like that during the season. Hopefully that was our longest one. We’re going to go through another stretch; I’m sure we will. It’s how you minimize those and bounce back like a winning team does. It’s good that we came out here and battled the World Champions like we did. To take five out of six from those guys on the season is pretty good.”

**TIM HUDSON

On the sixth inning, lot of ground balls

“They were hitting some ground balls just out of our reach. Some odd plays. I’m just glad we were able to come back and win. It was a game that I thought we should have blown them out. I felt really good out there and they got in position to score some runs. It feels like the last couple of games every baserunner that I’ve had has scored somehow. Seems kind of hard to do, every single baserunner scores. But that’s kind of been the case the last couple of outings. Just got to do a better job making some better pitches when I get in a jam.”

“Just hitting ‘em where we’re not. They had some pretty good at-bats, fighting some pitches off, a little bit of good luck on their end and not-so-good luck on our end. I’m just glad we won. That’s the main thing. All the personal things aside, it’s a good win for us. I’m not happy with my outcome personally, but bottom line is we won the ballgame.”

Nice having Freeman back in the lineup?

“It was, man. He came in and did what he did. He plays great first base and he’s some of our thump in our lineup. It’s good to have him back in there. Obviously Ski’s role is coming off the bench and he’s very comfortable doing that. We kind of took him out of his comfort zone a little while Freeman was out. Now hopefully things will get back in harmony.”

“It was a great game for a baseball fan. Not so much if you were winning 5-nothing early and then it was tied up late.”

On coming back from the skid

“We knew that we were a lot better than a team that was going to lose eight in a row. This is more like the kind of club I think you’re going to see on a day-in, day-out basis. It’s a great win tonight. We beat a good ballclub.”

**BRIAN McCANN

On getting Freeman back in the lineup

“That was huge. Getting him back in the lineup is a big deal, because you’re throwing another presence in the order that the pitcher has to make quality pitches to, and they can’t leave pitches out over the middle of the plate. That’s just going to help everybody around him.”

How good to win a series after losing eight games in a row?

“It puts us back on track. We had a little skid there. The good sign for us is putting up runs. That’s something that we weren’t really doing during that little stretch. So to be able to come out and score some runs was big for us.”

Does this show what the team can do when you’re closer to full strength?

“Yeah, any time you take the four, five and six hitters out of anybody’s lineup across baseball, they’re going to suffer. Your team’s built around the middle of the order.”

On Hudson cruising until the sixth

“Just a bunch of seeing-eye singles, man. I thought he was going to be able to throw a complete game. His stuff was electric. That’s the problem being a sinkerballer sometimes. If luck’s not on your side, it’s a bleeder, up-the-middle knock. He had some balls find the holes on him.”

35 comments Add your comment

Brandon

May 31st, 2012
12:07 am

overall good game

Zac in Tempe

May 31st, 2012
12:07 am

Keep serving up crow for the haters. Can’t wait for Washington!

count_schemula

May 31st, 2012
12:08 am

Pastor, get on the bus!

Brave Decisions

May 31st, 2012
12:09 am

Cant wait to see Simmons in Washington! http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-7I Here’s a piece on why this move needed to happen.

Ralph

May 31st, 2012
12:24 am

Maybe Frank is starting to read these blogs!

NorCal Brave

May 31st, 2012
12:37 am

Wait a second……did Fredi really use the word “plane” and not “bird?”

Bob

May 31st, 2012
1:15 am

What happened to gattis. He hasn’t played in a few weeks

Rafael

May 31st, 2012
1:21 am

It’s great we won the game, but…

It’s a FACT that Jack “Julio Lugo LITE” CANNOT hit. Wilson made an ERROR on a routine ground ball in the 9th. What VALUE ADD does Wilson add to our team if he CAN’T field???!!!! The real question is what is Jack Wilson doing on a MLB roster???!!!!!!

The “other” elephant in the room (besides Michael Bourn is gone via free agency) is Jason “BUST” Heyward has reverted to his 2011 ways. Heyward has reserrected his “patented” groundout or strikeout. Heyward gets more “passes” than Jennifer Aniston. Heyward NEEDS time in the minors rather than trying to find his game at the MLB level.

I’m happy Fredi did not start his nephew “Double Play” Matt Diaz tonight. I don’t like to spend money on tickets to watch a washed-up BUM like Diaz who COULD NOT make any other MLB roster!!!!!!!!

I’m hoping we put a hurt on the Washington Nationals this weekend. Then reality sets in… Fredi Gonzalez (Ricky Ricardo JR.) is our manager. That means in tight games he’ll continue to play Livian “18-team” Hernandez, Chad “Proctor” Durbin, and “Double Play” Matt Diaz (”he rakes lefthanders you know”). Fredi couldn’t be an Asst. Manager at a Waffle House.

Gibson

May 31st, 2012
1:50 am

Rafael- you are a silly, silly person. I bet you are a hoot to watch a game with.

Swede

May 31st, 2012
2:17 am

I haven’t read this blog in quite some time now, and Rafael just made me remember why…

Brandon

May 31st, 2012
2:32 am

@Rafael – diaz has only hit into 2 double plays this season in 61 plate appearances and he has dominated left handed pitching batting .324 with a .940 ops against them…and career wise he has a .329 batting average and 876 ops against lefties.

jack wilson has already shown his good range and defensive skills, and if you look at the replay, that ball took unexpected bounce. It was just a bad break. And we have wilson because we don’t want 2 rookie shortstops. We needed a proven defender

Heyward or Constanza? I love em both honestly

Chad Durbin has been the most reliable reliever besides Kimbrel…i’d prefer to have him in high leverage situation before venters, hernandez, or o’flaherty right now. You would know that if you watched the games

The Braves are 2 games out of first place and they’ve had arguably the roughest schedule up to this point. Fredi G may not be the best manager, but give the guy some credit

clay

May 31st, 2012
3:19 am

If we take two out of three or sweep the nats. Then ill be convinced we are back and ready to take the east.

bravesgrl4life

May 31st, 2012
5:31 am

It was a good win. So many times in the past, the Braves have lost their collective mojo when the opposing team battles back like the Cards did last night. Not this time!

It is so good to have Mac, Freddie and Uggla hitting like that! Uggla didn’t homer last night, but that hustle to score was amazing! And Constanza? Well, we saw last year that he is a sparkplug, but I hope that unlike last year, he doesn’t start out smokin’ like that and then go really, really cold. That would be a shame.

MikeY

May 31st, 2012
5:51 am

It is time to order goggles for the whole team!

Sly Boarders

May 31st, 2012
7:10 am

For earl, what is the deal with Cipper’s leg? That poop is weird.

Willis

May 31st, 2012
7:24 am

Hey Rafael,

A. Wilson does suck but he did have the go ahead hit tonight

B/ Diaz is actually hitting a bit this year as he was the ONLY one that kept is in the game when Huddy got rocked vs. Nats

C. LAst I checked Durbin been a hellavua lot better than Proctor and is actually one of our most consistent relievers right now.

D. Quit whining or submit your papers to Wren to manage the ball squad

OTP

May 31st, 2012
7:38 am

I think there are a few more people that could stand to be sent down, too-like Heyward and Minor.

Buddy Landel

May 31st, 2012
8:54 am

Rafael makes more eroors than the other Rafael (Ramirez) ever did.

Whiskey River

May 31st, 2012
9:02 am

Hello everyone, Been out of loop for 6 weeks because shot. That is enough of that. Can anyone tell me what has been happening? Last game saw was in Arizona.

64 year Braves fan

May 31st, 2012
9:03 am

Can’t they get Heyward to choke up on the bat (Barry Bonds did) and strive for contact and eliminate
so many strikeouts. If he doesn’t he will be out of baseball soon.

Brickhead OKelly

May 31st, 2012
9:57 am

I agree with 64 on Heyward……………..He needs to adjust his bat. He is going south fast if he doesnt get something going. It wont take much as if Heyward hits .250, he will help get us in the playoffs. Need he and Uggla to send the “thunder” :)

Zac in Tempe

May 31st, 2012
10:06 am

Is Rafael a pseudonym to allow the use of racially-loaded language about Fredi? Real name or not, that’s a little ugly.

Buddy Landel

May 31st, 2012
10:10 am

Rafael has displayed his lack of knowledge about the game and its players many times here. Be surprised when he says something useful. By the way, Diaz PH last night and did a great job getting the runner over on a tough pitch.

Longtimefan

May 31st, 2012
10:16 am

Hey Rafael, did Diaz hit on your girlfriend? At least back up your hatin with some stats- cause he is raking lefties and he’s not hitting into double plays. You also forgot to take your usual shot at management. You are slipping and your whining is getting tiresome.

alex

May 31st, 2012
11:20 am

comparing durbin to proctor is QUITE the compliment…. anyway the bats have awakened, but the real problem is pitching………middle relief is not very good and any lead is NOT safe

Largo

May 31st, 2012
12:41 pm

Isn’t it amazing how Fredi becomes a much better manager when the Braves win.

BravesFAN

May 31st, 2012
3:32 pm

When Chipper gets back Constanza needs to take Heyward’s job as the starting RF. He at least gets on base and helps us get some “cheap” runs. He can get a lot of those bunt singles down, then steal a base, and score a run off of a ground out or sac fly. Heyward has been god awful at the plate for a month and a half hitting .196 since April 20th. He doesn’t deserve to start everyday and it’s showing at the plate. He hasn’t produced the last month plus and it’s flat out obvious, if he didn’t come in with all that hype when he was a rookie he would’ve already been benched…..

BravesFAN

May 31st, 2012
3:39 pm

Constanza has played TWO games for the Braves this year and he did something Heyward has only done ONCE in 52 games – get 3 hits in a game!!!!!

It took Constanza 2 games to have a 3 hit game

It’s taken 52 games and Heyward only has ONE 3 hit game all year. On top of that Heyward hasn’t even had a TWO hit game since April 19th. Constanza gets called up and has a multi hit game his 2nd day in the big leagues, Heyward starts everyday and hasn’t had a multi hit game in a month and a half. PATHETIC….

Month of May Heyward has hit for a .200 average = PATHETIC, .315 OBP = Pathetic, 30 K’s in 95 AB’s = Pathetic, .389 SLG = PATHETIC, .705 OPS = Below league average PATHETIC…

Bench Heyward he doesn’t deserve to start. If he didn’t have all that hype as a rookie he would be in Gwinnett right now…

Brave New World

May 31st, 2012
3:54 pm

If Heyward is going to sit, it might not be a bad idea to have him playing regularly in Gwinnett for 5-10 games. Riding the bench rarely makes a player better. I still believe in J-Hey, but there’s no denying that he has not yet lived up to his potential.

BravesFAN

May 31st, 2012
4:06 pm

Brave new world – I agree I don’t think it’s a bad idea to let him get abunch of AB’s in Gwinnett while still trying to figure out how to hit an inside pitch. Thing that worries me is it’s not just inside pitches lately, I mean he gets fooled 2 of his 4 AB’s a game. He swings low when they throw him high stuff, he swings at balls in the dirt on 3-2 counts, he pops out to shortstop or has a weak ground out to 1st almost every AB. He’s not even getting on base over his lat 36 games he has an OBP of .293 that alone is reason enough to bench him or send him to Gwinnett it’s amazing that he starts everyday when you think about it.

Anybody else that hasn’t proven anything such as Heyward that starts 36 games in a row and has a .189 average and a .293 OBP over his past 36 games would be on the bench or in the minors no doubt about it. It amazes me that the Braves start him every game when he hasn’t proven anything other than he doesn’t deserve to be a starter and right now I’m not sure he deserves to be a bench player.

He needs to be in Gwinnett and they don’t need to call him back up until he’s proven he can consistently put together solid AB’s back to back to back. He averages ONE decent AB a game, ONE. He hasn’t had a 2 hit game since April 19th… When Chipper gets back Constanza needs to be the starting RF and Heyward needs to be sent down to Gwinnett to work on things. He’s clearly not the superstar that everybody thought he would be right now, doesn’t mean he won’t ever be a superstar but playing him everyday and watching him struggle and hurt the team isn’t helping him develop. He needs to go work on A LOT of things at the plate and getting blown away in the majors isn’t helping him. Send him to AAA and let him work on some things rather than stink it up and never develop properly in the majors…

Mikey

May 31st, 2012
4:30 pm

I see Prado at 3rd until Chipper returns & Constanza in left, center & right the rest of the season.

Tommy

May 31st, 2012
5:01 pm

@BravesFan Completely agree about Heyward. The kid has all the talent in the world. Wont he listen to Walker. What is his problem in your opinion?

Tommy

May 31st, 2012
5:24 pm

OK I hear ya. Bye May God walk with you!! Have Peace!!! Go Braves!!!! Miki li so Sayonara everyone!!!!

leftrecursion

June 1st, 2012
7:03 am

This is going to sound crazy but I’d kick the tires on Johan Santana. He’s got a year and half left on his contract and the Mets are looking to rebuild. Send Minor, a catching prospect and bullpen prospect. That would give them an awesome opportunity to take the division.

leftrecursion

June 1st, 2012
7:07 am

Heyward is too far from the plate again. Earlier in the season he moved closer now he’s back to last year swing over that outside pitch cause he can’t reach it.

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